Photograph your artwork


Display annual exhibition artworks..

Members are invited to send in ONE of their 2021 Exhibition submissions for display on the SAAS website 2021 Exhibition Gallery.  The preferred work should be sent to stalbansartsoc@gmail.com.  Members are requested to send in images at the same time as their 2021 Exhibition entry papers. The submission deadline is the last Friday in June.  The images remain copyright of the artist. Please include your name as you wish it to appear, the title of the artwork, the year completed, the size of the artwork in centimetres (Height x Width x (Depth for 3D objects)), and the medium used. This information will be placed alongside your image.

There are some tips below to help you make the photographs and send them by email.


Tips on how to take pictures of your artwork

There are good reasons to record details of your artwork and by a making a photographic image of it, not least is creating you own Catalogue raisonné!

Professional photography of artwork uses sophisticated rigs with high resolution digital cameras, colour calibration, and perhaps software-based multiple image stitching. An indication of what is possible can be seen at

https://artsandculture.google.com/project/art-camera

However, very acceptable results can still be obtained with a modest amount of relatively inexpensive equipment. Try to adhere to the following principles.

  • Get the light right

Good photography is all about optimum lighting for your subject. In the case of photographing artwork make sure the lighting is diffuse and even. Bright but overcast conditions are best, use a large window as the light source if making the photograph indoors. Do not use direct flash because it is prone to cause uneven lighting, unwanted reflections, and possible colour casts if the light bounces off coloured objects. Watch for unwanted shadows and reflections, especially on glass mounted works.

  • Make sure the film plane is parallel with two-dimensional artwork

If the camera is not aligned correctly it can give unwanted distortion e.g., the keystone effect. This is accentuated if you are using a wide-angle lens or smartphone/tablet camera with limited lens options. Nevertheless, if you do not have a camera and tripod good results can be obtained using a smartphone or tablet camera if placed overhanging the edge of a table with the artwork placed on the ground. Be careful not to overbalance your smart device onto the floor.  If you have a spirit level it can be used to check that neither the camera/table nor artwork is badly tilted in any direction.

  • Fill the frame

It is best to get the highest possible resolution from the start. A modest telephoto lens or zoom setting can help do this by filling the frame with the subject. A telephoto lens at a distance will also cause less distortion than using a wide angle lens close up (Modest telephotos of 75mm-100mm focal length in 35mm format are traditionally used in portraiture for this reason). Otherwise, adjust the distance between the camera and the artwork to fill the camera frame. If you are using the table technique try adjusting the distance with a box or pile of books underneath the artwork. This arrangement is shown in the diagram above. The artwork has been positioned partly under the table and raised on a plastic storage box to fill the smartphone camera lens field of view.

  • Keep the camera steady

A modern camera may not have a hand-held cable release socket for the shutter (a smartphone or tablet certainly won’t have one). However, a timer release and image
 stabilisation are likely to be available to you. The timer release function of your camera or device app will be an additional aid to obtaining a sharp image, set the timer going and remember to step lightly away so that you don’t cast a shadow or create vibrations.

  • Image size for sending by email

It is best to send a high resolution image because it is easier to prepare for the web than a low resolution image. A low resolution image would not do justice to your artwork.  Most email providers will limit attachment size, and these allowances vary considerably, but there will be enough capacity to send a good quality image of approximately 5MB in size.  Just watch for any warnings or non delivery reports when an email has either not been sent, or bounced at the recipient end, because it is too large.